Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Simple Is Good...!
After the post yesterday dealing with gravy using cornmeal instead of flour...I had several folks tell me that they could never get any type of flour gravy quite right!
Sometimes I think the reason that so many folks have a hard time with recipes, is that they want to make cooking too hard. Cooking anything should be a fun adventure, with no right way or wrong way to do it! Common sense is the best guide to use when cooking!
A low or medium fire is really all that's needed to cook nearly anything. You should never be afraid to experiment with different ingredients, because often substituting one thing for another may lead to a brand new and tasty dish! Don't overdo the grease or oil! Start with a little, adding more if needed. Same with salt!Try cooking without adding salt and only add it after you're through...or better yet, let folks add it to the dish themselves to taste!
Now as far as simple recipes for gravy goes...this one could not be any more simple. No flour, no milk, no extra ingredients...except coffee or water. Sounds a little weird, right? Take a look!
Red eye gravy is well known in the South, but little known in the rest of the United States. Also called bird-eye gravy, poor man’s gravy, red ham gravy, and muddy gravy, it is made from drippings and black coffee, although some debate that using water is better. The history of red eye gravy is rife with culinary lore.
So the story goes: Andrew Jackson (1767-1845), 7th President of the United States, called for his cook to tell him what to prepare for the morning meal. The cook had been drinking “moonshine” the night before and his eyes were rimmed in red. Taking a look at those bloody red eyes, General Jackson instructed the cook to bring him some country ham with gravy as red as his eyes. The conversation was overheard by others and from then on, ham gravy became “Red Eye Gravy.”
It doesn't get any simpler than this. Using a cast iron skillet (or your skillet of choice) fry some country style ham until brown on both sides to your liking. Remove the ham and place it on a platter to stay warm.
Take a cup of fresh brewed coffee, hot or cold, and slowly pour into the skillet. Use the coffee (or water, if that's your choice) to scrape any drippings off the skillet and continue to stir until the liquid is well mixed and very hot!.
That's it! The cooking part is over...and the gravy can be poured over grits, cornbread, biscuits, or the ham...even rice! Makes a very simple gravy or sauce that's a very tasty addition to any meal!
This is definitely a case where simple is better. Easy, fast, and uses just the things readily at hand. What more could you ask for? In this case, maybe just a second helping!
Now, my friends, how about coffee in the kitchen this morning?